Green space and infrastructure


The identified areas of intervention addressed by our neighbourhood plan will be the following:


Green Links & Routes - Developing the network


The Green Links project has grown out of the East Walworth Green Links and the desire to create a network of traffic-lite and bio-diversity friendly walking and cycling routes across the Walworth area. A Green Link was created in East Walworth running from the Bricklayers Arms roundabout to Burgess Park and it is hoped that over time other routes will be created to link the myriad of small parks and amenities in the area together.





Green Links and green spaces in general encourage walking and cycling. Through the neighbourhood plan we want to promote their expansion and visibility, and in particular to:

  • integrate open spaces on housing estates with Green Links;

  • make local people aware of the potential of green links to encourage them to walk & cycle more;
  • work closely with T&RAs;

  • promote local people reclaiming land for growing food;

  • involve Volunteer Tree Wardens to help look after Green Spaces and Links;

  • Encourage schools to take advantage of Green Links (Walk to School, safer routes)


Wildlife Corridors

Designed carefully, all the above proposed routes could also function as wildlife corridors.  Our densely populated urban environment – with density set to rise exponentially – is already an area of deficiency for publicly accessible green space. We are even more deficient in areas of good wildlife habitat. Wild species here are usually confined to fragmented pockets of park, a few private gardens and valuable estate landscaping. Yet to maintain their diversity and grow their populations, both animal and plant species need to travel to find food, water, mates and shelter and to disperse pollen and seeds. Therefore we should aim to link our fragmented habitats via continuous green routes of structured plantings chosen for wildlife value, acting as wildlife corridors.  Not only will this greatly enhance bio-diversity potential in the area while improving amenity for us all, but it will begin to mitigate the area’s green space deficiency.

It is relevant that one of the London mayor’s current proposals for an extension to the South East London Green Chain section of the All London Green Grid aims to bring that link down via green spaces in the south of our borough towards Burgess Park. Our Neighbourhood Plan proposals already feature an East Walworth Green Link that links us to Burgess Park. With the further routes proposed here designed specifically to incorporate wildlife planting, bio-diversity enhancement in north-west Southwark would be assured.

Proposed Link extending the South London Green Chain from Peckham Rye to Burgess Park



Pedestrians

We know that residents have numerous suggestions for specific improvements to pedestrian routes and crossings, so we are keen to capture these in the neighbourhood plan. In particular, we want to make sure that pedestrian movement is guaranteed in our neighbourhood (e.g. avoid gated private developments) and to promote new walking routes towards the North of the city and along the railway corridor. 



Green Finger routes in West Walworth

 
At present the walking links into the northern part of the Walworth Rd from the many estates that lie to the west are very poor. The redevelopment of many sites along the western side of the Walworth Rd offers an opportunity to create a green infrastructure that will be attractive to those on foot and those who cycle whilst maintaining access for vehicles.
These early ideas have been developed in "Creating high Quality Green Finger Walking Routes in West Walworth". 



Cycling

We are keen to embed cycling into the neighbourhood plan, both in terms of hard measures such as routes and parking, as well as softer measures to encourage a cycling culture.

The culture of cycling is growing and people are looking not just for good cycling infrastructure (such as spaces to park their bike at home and at their destinations and safe cycling routes) but also the more social side of cycling (such as shops, cafes and public places where people can fix their bike or get it fixed).

At the same time it is clear that the needs of cyclists and pedestrians are different and that the design of shared spaces needs to ensure that the priority is given to pedestrians.

    

There is a need to

- create safe routes across the main arterial roads and also to connect up the green spaces;

- create safe cycling routes to school to encourage young people and families to cycle too;

- set minimum requirements for levels of cycle parking for each parade of local shops;

- identify, through mapping projects, the routes that exist and those that are missing and how these will interconnect within and across the neighbourhood plan area.


Overall the plan will 

a) recognise the emerging culture of cycling;

b) cater for families and children;

c) undertake mapping work;

d) create a fine grain of routes within the area with especial attention to east-west links.




The Low Line along the railway line





The working groups on green spaces build on the work led by the:


Southwark Living Streets group,

The Walworth Society,

East Walworth Green Links

Friends of Nursery Row Park,

Friends of Victory Community Park,

Friends of Salisbury Park, 

Forest Bank,

Friends of Surrey Square Park.